Skip to Main Content

Our history

The Gardens of St. Francis

The Little Sisters of the Poor and CHI Living Communities announced that the two Catholic organizations signed a purchase agreement which transferred ownership of the Little Sisters of the Poor’s campus to CHI Living Communities on February 1, 2019. The new name is The Gardens of St. Francis.

“Our shared Catholic identity makes this an ideal transition for the residents, families, and community,” said Rick Ryan, President/CEO of CHI Living Communities. “Like the Little Sisters of the Poor, our core values of reverence, integrity, compassion, and excellence center on our profound respect for each person.” 

Most Reverend Daniel E. Thomas, Bishop of Toledo, said, “I am so pleased to learn the Little Sisters of the Poor have signed a purchase agreement with CHI Living Communities. It is my sincere hope that they will carry on the excellent work of the Little Sisters of the Poor in caring for residents with Gospel inspired values.  I look forward to the expansion of CHI Living Communities’ presence in the Diocese of Toledo as they continue the legacy of the Little Sisters of the Poor and their witness to the healing and merciful love of Christ Jesus.”

 “The Gardens of St. Francis is part of a Catholic ministry that began in northwest Ohio and is locally based. CHI Living Communities currently has 13 campuses across the United States serving more than 2,500 residents and employing over 2,000,” Mr. Ryan added. “Those shared services help us to lead with care and meet the body, mind, and spirt needs of each person in the most dignified and faith-based manner possible.”


History of The Gardens of St. Francis

The first home of the Little Sisters of the Poor opened in NW Ohio in 1885. Since this was 25 years before the establishment of the Diocese of Toledo, it was the Archbishop of Cleveland that invited the Little Sisters to establish a home and to work serving the elderly poor in what was then known as East Toledo. This small home was located on Front and Platt Streets and was deemed a temporary dwelling, to be used while a newer home was being constructed on Starr Avenue.

In 1887 the new Home opened on Starr Avenue and stayed in daily operation for 82 years. The Home was a neighborhood landmark that had four stories and was constructed from limestone. This Home served thousands of needy aged Residents up until the late 1960’s when it was decided a newer facility was needed.

In 1967 land was secured on Navarre Avenue and South Wynn Road and a new facility was constructed and opened in 1969. This expansive one-story
facility was located on 44 acres with beautiful grounds. For the next 35 years, this building served the needs of the elderly poor until it too was deemed in need of major renovation. After a thorough analysis of the building, it was decided that constructing a new structure was more cost effective than renovating the old one. So in 2004, the new Home was constructed on the same property as the existing Home. The new building, harkening back to the older Starr Avenue one, is a three-story facility. It offers many amenities such as recreation rooms, common visiting lounges, a hobby center, in-house beauty parlor, and a physical therapy center.